#CyberFLASH: Three Canadian universities to help teach IBM’s Watson about cyber security

ibm-640x427Three Canadian universities are among eight institutions that will be in a year-long research project to teach IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform how to comb through unstructured data to improve cyber security.

Starting this fall the institutions — including the University of Ottawa, the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick — will work with IBM to teach Watson the nuances of security research findings and how to discover patterns and evidence of hidden cyber attacks and threats.

In making the announcement on Tuesday, Caleb Barlow, vice-president of IBM Security, said in an interview the work won’t necessarily lead to a commercial Watson for Cyber Security product. For example, Watson will work with IBM’s free X-Force threat information exchange.

“The university program is an academic initiative. Each university decides how they’re going to implement it with their students — whether it will be part of course work, extra credit — and they’re going to get a front-row seat into how we build cognitive solutions in the security realm.”

IBM sells a number of services on the Watson platform including Watson for Oncology (helps cancer specialists evaluate patient data against clinical evidence), Explorer (analyzes structured and unstructured enterprise data), Discovery Advisor (helps organizations discover relationships between disparate data they hold), and Engagement Advisor (an automated self-service solution that offers answers to customer questions).

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#CyberFLASH: IBM plans to open 250 cybersecurity managers designation in New Brunswick for future

ibm-640x427In collaboration, both New Brunswick premier Brian Gallant and IBM Canada would create approx. 100 full time jobs within company’s security division in Fredericton – pay range: US$ 50,000 to US$ 75,000 on an individual scale basis.

IBM Canada’s global technology services GM, David Drury made announcements to add on further 110 and 40 jobs in Saint John and Florenceville-Bristol, respectively. The statements had reached press following New Brunswick’s premier announcement. Market looks onto it as: collaboration between the two could createan ‘Information and security tech’ pointof focus in New Brunswick – already a hub to a natural cybersecurity cluster that dates back 25 years, with the establishment of Canada’s first faculty of computer science in year 1989 (source: cantech letter).

“We are fortunate to have international companies such as IBM in New Brunswick. IBM is a leader in information technology and in cybersecurity. The expansion of its operations in New Brunswick means more valuable information technology jobs and a strong foundation for the continued growth of the cybersecurity sector in this province.” – Premier Brian Gallant

Right at start of month March, reports from San Francisco claim premier to have had a meeting with IBM and rest of the tech firms to tighten cybersecurity.

“This economic development investment will create a hub of information technology, security technology expertise and high-value jobs in New Brunswick. Together, we are planting these economic development seeds to help transition New Brunswick into a knowledge-worker economy that can positively tackle huge challenges, such as the monumental growth of cybercrime, for the benefit of all Canadians and organizations worldwide.” – IBM Canada’s president, Dino Trevisani

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#CyberFLASH: Insurance Institute of Canada report encourages p&c organizations to build cyber resiliency; cites business opportunity in expanding coverage

aCanadian property and casualty insurance organizations should bolster the defences of their organizations and those of their clients against cyber threats by developing a culture of cyber security, recommends a new research report issued Tuesday by the Insurance Institute of Canada (IIC).

“Insurance organizations are encouraged to build a corporate culture of cyber security that includes actions to address technological threats and security training for employees,” notes an IIC statement announcing the release of Cyber Risks: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada, which assesses cyber risk from the perspective of the Canadian p&c insurance industry.

The research report cites a study by Intel’s McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, which estimates the global cost of cyber crime in 2013 at US$375 billion to US$575 billion. “The global impact of cyber crime is similar to estimates by the United Nations of the international production, trafficking and sales of illicit drugs (US$400 billion) and the worldwide damage resulting from vehicle collisions (US$518 billion),” states the report.

According to the report, the most common forms of cyber attacks were theft and other data attacks, malware (phishing and pharming) and mechanisms to infect computers (viruses, worms, Trojan horses). The report notes that in 2013, the 3,700 clients of IBM’s Managed Security Services experienced seven or eight cyber incidents each month, on average. About half of those attacks – including scams to steal credit card information, website vandalism, corporate espionage and denial-of-service attacks – were directed at the manufacturing (27%) and financial services (21%) industries.

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Data centers still waste energy — or do they?

A news investigation punches a hole in boasts that data centres are energy efficient. But, argues an analyst, enterprises — not ‘Internet’ data centres, are the villains

 If you read our report on IBM Canada’s new Barrie, Ont., data centre, you’ll know one of the important features is that it’s a so-called “green” data centre. But over the weekend a controversy errupted over whether data centres are really saving much energy.
This article from Saturday’s New York Times argues most U.S. data centres still waste energy. After a year-long examination of public records, the newspaper concludes that far from the image of energy efficience, data centres in general run round the clock whatever the demand and therefore waste much of the electricity they pull in.
 
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